Boston Bombing: In Times of Crisis

BostonBombing

Prayers for the people of Boston and for all of us…  Having lived for a time in the Middle East, I have passing familiarity with the impact that this behavior has on a nation and its citizens. The impact is chilling and brutalizing. We will need to look deep within ourselves to listen for the still small voice that is the word of God to us in difficult times. God give us grace, courage, and compassion in a balance that is forever at risk in this environment.Pause.Find moments of si … [Read more...]

The Empathetic Spirit

Empathy

A great deal has been written about empathy from a psychological point of view, particularly in the effort to distinguish it from sympathy.  Far less has been written about its spiritual dimension.On that score, arguably the etymology of the word remains an important clue to its spiritual significance.  From the Greek preposition en or “in” and the noun, pathos or passion, empathy refers to the capacity to “feel into” or even “suffer into” the experience of another.It becomes instantly cl … [Read more...]

Venomous and Poisonous

snakes

My wife is reading a novel --- a novel about Scots and the English.  So, the author cares about language and along the way he makes some pretty fine distinctions.  One of them, she tells me, is the difference between venomous and poisonous.They might appear to be the same, but they aren’t.  If something bites you and it makes you sick, it’s venomous.  If you bite into something and it makes you sick, it’s poisonous.  In one fairly humorous passage a snake escapes into the privy and there’s a … [Read more...]

Second Opinions and the Will of God

Second Opinion

My brother is a surgeon and he understands the desire for second opinions.  When a procedure is complicated or the implications are far-reaching, it can be important to get another point of view.  If the second opinion confirms the first one you received, it’s also reassuring.  But when patients look for a third, fourth, or fifth opinion, he has also learned that his patients are probably looking for the opinion they want, not the opinion they need --- or they don’t want to make a decision at all … [Read more...]

The Happiness Index

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In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal James Brovard reported:In recent years, numerous experts have declaimed that the gross domestic product is a flawed measure of whether citizens are truly thriving. President Obama's designee for World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, for example, warned that "the quest for growth in GDP and corporate profits has in fact worsened the lives of millions of women and men."  In light of this growing concern, the Obama administration is financing … [Read more...]

False Selves

False Selves

In 1960 D. W. Winnicott published what appeared to be an inconsequential article describing “the false self.”  Winnicott argued that, in self-defense, we all build versions of ourselves.  Those “false selves” are designed to offer a version of ourselves to the world that keep us from being hurt and promote public civility, ordering our impulses and the ways in which we act on them.  Winnicott argued that in those who are emotionally troubled, the false self looms so large that the “true self” is … [Read more...]


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